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The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Book by Weingarten, Marc
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 12th 2006 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2005)
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Start your review of The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: aspiring journalistas
too much hunter s. thomspon, not enough didion. still a great history of the type of writing i like best.
Kim Fay
Dec 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This is an incredibly interesting book, especially the beginning, which explains how writers such as Jonathan Swift and Charles Dickens were precursors to the "new journalists" who came of age in the 1960s. I would highly recommend this book, even though I had many issues with it. The first is that it summarizes (for the most part) rather than explores the evolution of new journalism. I would have liked more insights into the implications and ethics of this movement. For example, regarding the l ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gran repaso sobre las principales figuras del Nuevo Periodismo, su desarrollo editorial, su espíritu y estilo. A lo largo de sus páginas podemos encontrarnos la revolución que supuso Tom Wolfe, como Breslin y Talese cambiaron el modo de escribir crónicas, el poder editorial de Clay Felker y Harold Hayes, la locura de Hunther S. Thompson, los reportajes de Joan Didion, la lucha feminista de Gloria Steinem o los despachos de guerra de Michael Herr.

Todo un repaso a la contracultura, que se muestra
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Truly a pleasure to read, as the many adventures in the writing trenches of war correspondence and American turmoil at home give birth to a lot of information. Regardless of one's attitude toward New Journalism, author Weingarten details his contrasting histories with lots of writing samples. We get the personalized, independent nonfiction from the 50s through the ground-breaking voices of the Vietnam era, authors who made their coverage and style as provocative as rock n' roll. Free of a lot of ...more
Debbie Jacob
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A light-hearted offbeat look at the journalists who made up the New Journalism movement -- all characters in themselves. This is history, journalism and biography all rolled up in a pleasing, readable, literary package.
Eugenio Fouz
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Nicely written. Interesting book on New Journalism
Apr 29, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
"Wolfe y muchos de sus contemporáneos reconocieron -algunos antes que la gran mayoría- un hecho destacado en el acontecer de los años sesenta: las herramientas tradicionales con las que se realizaban los reportajes resultaban inadecuadas a la hora de cubrir los tremendos cambios culturales y sociales de aquella época. En un periodo de siete años había emergido, aparentemente de la nada, un grupo de escritores -Tom Wolfe, Jimmy Breslin, Gay Talese, Hunter S. Thompson, Joan Didion, John Sack, Mic ...more
Mrnotarides notarides
Nov 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Reading about writers always seems to be a good idea until you start reading and your are reminded of that quote,"Writing About Music is Like Dancing About Architecture." Why listen to the cover band when you can listen to the actual band. In other words, I didn't finish this book. I read the parts I wanted to read and left the rest. The most interesting parts of the book and what I wish there was more of were the parts about the techniques different writers used to create their style such as Ma ...more
Aug 31, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is a fun read. It shows that the political volatility (and the drugs) of the 60s helped nurture a "new" journalism (that really wasn't new), mostly at the New York magazine and Esquire. Marc Weingarten tells us about the editors who gave writers the latitude to make this happen. It ends on a bittersweet note when you realize this editorial freedom and platform is now mostly gone. Added lots of stuff to my reading list as a result such as Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The Right Stuff, and The ...more
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I became interested in New Journalism in the 1970s through the work of writers like Hunter S Thompson, Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer. I admired their writing because it was original, colourful and seemed to me to capture the spirit of an extraordinary period.

I enjoyed Marc Weingarten's book because it reawakened the enjoyment I gained when I first read books like 'Fear and loathing in Las Vegas', 'Fear and loathing on the campaign trail', 'Dispatches' and 'Miami and the siege of Chicago'. it provi
Jun 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Erica!
Recommended to Michelle by: Erica!
My friend with the movie star eyebrows checked this book out from the library and just thumbed through it for some of her "New Journalism" sources back in high school. From the moment I saw it on her desk with a stack of other books good for bibliography space, I was lured in. Even the title struck my fancy! Good work on her part choosing a book that explains everything from the original printing press shock coverage of Hiroshima to the mysteries behind Tom Wolfe and his ice cream suit.

Anyone w
Dan Lalande
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
A light look at the impact of the New Journalism school, from Mailer, Capote and Didion to Breslin, Wolfe and Thompson. It's mostly a series of chapter-length biographies, alive with envy of stylistic panache and of the times in which these pioneers of the pen found popularity. Weingarten, unlike his subjects, is no wunderkind, but the eccentric upstarts he writes about are great company.
Feb 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Interesting book about the New Journalism, and those who wrote it. The author lost me at the end when going into great detail about the fight between Clay Felker and Rupert Murdoch over ownership of New York magazine.

But I was fascinated for most of the book, though I'm not so sure I agree that "New Journalism" is dead now. interesting book for those interest in writing and journalism.
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Great overall history of New Journalism. Well-written, not dry and academic. Lots of research and interviews went into this. I liked all of it, but if your not a huge fan of the subject, you might some parts to be dull, because it tells you absolutely everything. It's extremely detailed. I was really interested so this wasn't a problem for me.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book. Excellent insight into the art and artists of new journalism. Couldn't put it down, until it was done. Such fun.
Ramesh Prabhu
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Here's a book about journalists and journalism that reads like a thriller: (The Reading Room) ...more
Dana Vogel
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
A must-read for anyone in media/magazines/journalism!
Tim Evans
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant book capturing a fantastic time featuring the likes of Didion, Capote, Thompson, Wolfe and the New Yorker.
Sep 15, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Vicki by: Tim Wendel
Shelves: writing
For Nonfiction Techniques
Matías Castañón
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Me ha gustado bastante, una excelente manera de acercarse a la historia del Nuevo Periodismo y los tios que lo hicieron grande.
Aug 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Louis Dirigible
Jul 10, 2011 rated it liked it
overall pretty good. does the book mention the title is taken from a breslin book? i just learned that searching for it.
May 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Short history of New Journalism with profiles of the key writers and works associated with it.
Nov 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
I would give this five stars- it's immersive and incredibly well-written, but female journalists are treated as an afterthought while the book reads pretty much as the Thompson and Wolfe Show.
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating little profiles of the people who changed journalism and the art of non-fiction, including wonderful vignettes of how they came to write the stories they're known for.
Dec 03, 2010 rated it liked it
A nice overview of the rise and fall of literary journalism, though the fall part gets super reductive. still, a nice read.
Stephen Matlock
Jan 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Good, solid writing. A mix of a novel and an historical account of the rise, success, and fall of New Journalism and the new journalists.
rated it really liked it
Jun 26, 2016
Ryan Daley
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Dec 19, 2019
Carli Brosseau
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Aug 27, 2010
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Marc Weingarten is an author, journalist, editor and filmmaker. He lives in Los Angeles.

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